224. Road Trip to Mt. Hutt

After gazing at the distant snow-capped mountains from our backyard all winter, we decided it was time to visit them. Hearing that our friends were going skiing for the day on Mt. Hutt , we thought we’d join them for lunch “up there” and give the powder blue EV (Nissan Leaf) a good workout. The wonderful thing about electric cars is that they can generate their own power on downhill runs. Mt. Hutt might be a good place to test this!

Technical stuff in this blog courtesy of Dave; photos by Nancy.

So we set off on a glorious early Spring day – the highway south of Christchurch lined with flowering acacia (wattle to Aussie me).

SOC was 89% and the GOM was estimating 140km. (SOC battery State Of Charge and GOM is the Guess O Meter which tries to work out how many Kilometres the battery can take us).

Drove at a steady 90kph.

At Rakaia (45 km) the SOC was 58% and the GOM said 86km so we carried on.

I love turning off at Rakaia – it’s like entering another world. The mountains start to come closer and closer…..

At the Methven charger SOC was 21 &, GOM estimates 28 km left, total distance travelled 82km. Plugged in and went for a coffee and a wander around the craft shop. 35 minutes later we were back at the car where the battery was at 98%

We then drove up to the skifield where we caught up with friends and had lunch and a drinks on the deck while watching the skiers and chatting.

Les than half way up and still climbing.

Just hitting the snow line.

Still a way to go.

Finally the Lodge, three lifts and part of the ski fields in sight

SOC on arrival at the car park 58% and the GOM said 50 km left. Travelled 27 km.

We had lunch with our friends then left them to ski some more.

The Beginners slope is in the middle of this photo. It was the FIRST TIME I (Nancy) had ever been on a working skifield! Although i have been to the top of Mt. Hutt during summer.

Before leaving we checked out the ski hire section. Everything is colour-coded.

Also had a look at the (now disused?) bungee jump area, and the views to the horizon. Note it is a wee bit curved – that’s how high up we were.

Here’s the start of the road back downhill.

We left the skifield about 2.30 and drove down to Highway 73 in B mode for hopefully maximum regeneration. Arrived at the highway 73 after travelling 17 km. SOC was 69% so regen gave us 11% back but the GOM said we could now travel 123 km.

On the way down we stopped to pay our respects to “Rocky”. I still have pages and pages of the absolutely hilarious dialogue carried on during his time on TradeMe. it was the perfect antidote to all the depression following the earthquakes. I wonder just how many people logged on to TradeMe – it must have been thousands.

Looking back where we had come from..

Still a way to go.

We elected to return home via Rakaia again putting the hammer down and travelling at 100kph and arriving there with 30% SOC and the GOM reporting 51 km which would have been a bit tight to get home so we charged again at Rakaia.

After a coffee we were happy with a SOC of 91% and the GOM saying 156km. (Methven to Rakaia is downhill so economy is good).

We arrived home with 57% SOC and the GOM saying 84km.

Total trip 225km.